Read the Passage (NRSV)    Find more resources related to this passage  Print

Matthew 11:16-30 – Come to Me and I Will Give You Rest

Summary

After pronouncing woes upon those who do not repent and believe in the Son of Man, Jesus asserts his oneness with the Father, and in the Father's name promises that all who come to him with their burdens will find in this gentle master rest for their souls.

Analysis

Jesus' pronouncement of woes upon those who do not respond to his "deeds of power" (11:20) is a reminder of both John's and Jesus' initial preaching and its call for repentance in light of the coming of the kingdom of heaven. Now in explicit language of revelation (11:25, 27; unique to Matthew in the Synoptic Gospels, but reminiscent of similar language in John), Jesus addresses the Father and announces that his ministry is a sign of his oneness with the Father and with the Father's gracious will (11:26). That will is seen in the Father's handing over all authority to the Son (see also 28:18-20).

And now in this revelatory passage we hear what the Son will do with that authority. In one of the most beautiful passages in the Gospels, Jesus claims his authority as God's Messiah and promises, "Come to me, all you that are weary and are carrying heavy burdens, and I will give you rest" (11:28-30). The promise is noteworthy in the words "all you" in the personal, passionate, and universally comforting appeal of this "I Am," who is gentle and humble in heart.

Matthew 11:16-30

16 ‘But to what will I compare this generation? It is like children sitting in the market-places and calling to one another,
17 “We played the flute for you, and you did not dance;
   we wailed, and you did not mourn.”
18For John came neither eating nor drinking, and they say, “He has a demon”; 19the Son of Man came eating and drinking, and they say, “Look, a glutton and a drunkard, a friend of tax-collectors and sinners!” Yet wisdom is vindicated by her deeds.’*

Woes to Unrepentant Cities

20 Then he began to reproach the cities in which most of his deeds of power had been done, because they did not repent. 21‘Woe to you, Chorazin! Woe to you, Bethsaida! For if the deeds of power done in you had been done in Tyre and Sidon, they would have repented long ago in sackcloth and ashes. 22But I tell you, on the day of judgement it will be more tolerable for Tyre and Sidon than for you. 23And you, Capernaum,
will you be exalted to heaven?
   No, you will be brought down to Hades.
For if the deeds of power done in you had been done in Sodom, it would have remained until this day. 24But I tell you that on the day of judgement it will be more tolerable for the land of Sodom than for you.’

Jesus Thanks His Father

25 At that time Jesus said, ‘I thank* you, Father, Lord of heaven and earth, because you have hidden these things from the wise and the intelligent and have revealed them to infants; 26yes, Father, for such was your gracious will.* 27All things have been handed over to me by my Father; and no one knows the Son except the Father, and no one knows the Father except the Son and anyone to whom the Son chooses to reveal him.

28 ‘Come to me, all you that are weary and are carrying heavy burdens, and I will give you rest. 29Take my yoke upon you, and learn from me; for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. 30For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.’

oremus Bible Browser
biblemail@oremus.org
v 2.2.7
10 February 2011

Related Passages